Couple’s planning a festival style country wedding; take note. This is exactly how to do it in style.
WWW readers Erin and Ashley were married on the 12th July 2014 and held their outdoor party at House on the Brooks in West Sussex.
Talking of blooms I so love Erin’s multicolour ribbon bouquet and teamed with red heels and an Ian Stuart dress she looked amazing. There were fete games to entertain guests, festoon lights twinkling in the evening and smiles all round.
Many thanks to New Forest Studio for sharing these totally gorgeous images.
THE PROPOSAL | We were up a mountain near Lake Garda in Italy, was an amazing setting.
THE VISION | We wanted to be able to set our own rules, have a few days to spend with family and friends and keep everything relaxed but fun – so basically a festival wedding!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started off pretty relaxed, just contacting venues in West Sussex but as they started to come back saying they were booked up for the following year (some places 2-3 years!) we realised we had to act more quickly as we had it in our heads to marry on 12th July 2014, which would be our 6 year anniversary. We got the venue sorted and started getting on with the rest of the suppliers. As we decided to put together the whole wedding from scratch we had to be really on the ball with suppliers, plans and timings. Ash was the brilliant at getting us organised straight away, he started the spreadsheets and a pintrest board and we both treated it like a managing a project. We used Google docs so we could both keep everything up to date and made a wedding website using Google sites.
BUDGET | Without saying the exact amount we kept a tight leash on the budget and were really happy with what we achieved with the amount we had.
THE VENUE | We hired ‘House on the Brooks’ in Hardham West Sussex. It was perfect for the type of wedding we wanted as we could have the place for a week, there was a small house on site and a barn with accommodation, as well as a huge field for us to have a marquee, glamping, games and a bonfire. The team there were lovely and gave us all the freedom we needed to create the wedding we wanted.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Ian Stuart Cadillac dress altered to be strapless, and red shoes from Nine West.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found dress searching very hard, as I wasn’t prepared to spend £1000’s on a dress I was going to wear for one day, yes I know it’s the only time you get married… but still. I had seen the Ian Stuart Cadillac dress on pintrest and the only place I could track it down was in a bridal shop in Hownslow, it unfortunately had become rather yellowed but I got a pretty good feel for it – though not the price. I was going to give up the idea but luckily I saw it on a second hand site, the girl who owned it hadn’t got married yet and was changing to getting married abroad, so needed a different dress, it was a stroke of luck for me! I knew I wanted to make it strapless early on as and I had a fantastic Irish lady recommended to me for alterations, who did the incredibly difficult job of making it strapless.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ash wore a dark blue suit from Debenhams with a polka dot red and white tie from M&S and brown shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | In the Church we went pretty traditional to suit the venue. We started planning the playlist really early on as it was an important for us to get it right for people having a dance in the evening. We also booked a band who we already knew, they were fantastic and the dance floor was rammed the whole time they played. One of our friends who’s a Freddy Mercury impersonator also did a few songs for us which our guests went crazy over!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four beautiful, crazy bridesmaids to find dresses for. It was very tricky finding something to suit everyone but I ended up finding lovely mint lace dresses on Marks and Spencer’s website. They all already had nude shoes so they worked well with the dress.
THE FLOWERS | For the bouquets and table centres I used a lovely florist, Chloe owner of The Oak and the Owl. I suggested some colours and flowers but was happy for her to take the lead and just go for it. She produced the most amazing colourful collection of bouquets, we used our bouquets as table centres as well so that helped with our budget. I bought mason jars and decorated them with lace for the table centres and I had two large milk jugs which I sprayed mint. One of my bridesmaids very kindly make the buttonholes and some more arrangements for the marquee. We were able to borrow plants from Ash’s dad’s nursery so we filled the entrance and outside of the marquee with plants and flowers.
THE CAKE | We weren’t too bothered about the cake and neither of us like cake that much, so we just asked the caterer to make us a frosted carrot cake. On the day it was really hot and the cake melted and sloped a bit, the poor caterer was apologising non-stop but we thought it was hilarious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was the incredible Sam, owner of New Forest Studios. Having a background in photography I started looking very early on for a photographer and I was super picky! I’d met Sam briefly some years ago and had his details on Facebook so I contacted him from there. He was by far the best photographer I approached, both in style and cost. Everyone at our wedding thought he was one of our friends doing the photography for us as he got on so well with everyone. He was so patient with us when doing the fab evening shots as we were by then full of alcohol and acting like kids – we were blown away by the outcome of his shoots.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted to keep decorations simple, Ash’s mum made us a huge amount of beautiful bunting to use inside the marquee, on the tables we focused on the flowers and vintage crockery to create the colour for us. Ash very much took the lead here, he made most of our large decorations; lighting, marquee signs, picnic tables and benches, coconut shy, goal posts and loads more! I designed all of the name places, drinks menus and signage (I did do something!). Using straw bales we created a bar inside the marquee, a seating area around the bonfire and under our second marquee.
For the food we used Oakfield farm, it was all their own meat, cheese and everything else was locally sourced. Kathy was so lovely to deal with and did a brilliant ploughman’s lunch/buffet. In the evening we had a BBQ with a wide selection which everyone raved over.
THE HONEYMOON | We went all out on this; Las Vegas, Hawaii and Tokyo.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Probably to many to mention… Setting up wedding with Ash’s family was brilliant, they helped us out so much. Going off to do pictures with Sam throughout the day and evening. Our band got me and Ash to do a dance off – which of course I won, though my poor dress didn’t appreciate my dance moves and came open! Spending time with all our family and friends, getting everyone together and having the time to speak to them all.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Doing it all yourself is incredibly rewarding but also extremely tiring. Don’t underestimate how much work it will be but if you concentrate on becoming amazing project managers and work together well you’ll make it happen. And one last thing never scrimp on the photographer!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | New Forest Studio
Florist | The Oak and the Owl
Venue | House on the Brooks
Catering | Oakfield Farm
Marquee | D & J Marquees
Glamping | Bell Tent Company
Band | The Hit Brigade
Dress alterations | Wedding Dress Alterations
Wow. A dream day, I just wish I were a guest. It looked like everyone had a total blast.
Thanks so so much to Erin and Ashley for sharing their wonderful story with us xo Lou